The Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the sponsorship of the environmental category of the annual award for three years.
Furthermore, the Agency will give free training on environmental issues to selected journalism students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ).
Additionally, the Agency would institute an open week for members of the Association to tour sites of mining and other institutions to keep them abreast of environmental trends in the country.
The Acting Executive Director of the Agency, John Alexis Pwamang, announced these at the opening of a two day in-house training for selected editors across the nation on environmental and persuasive reporting, at the agency’s training centre, at Amasaman in the Ga West Municipality of the Greater Accra Region.
It was also aimed at deepening the existing relationship between the media and the Agency and to demystify environmental issues.
Among topics treated, were hazardous waste management, environmental quality standards, mining, ozone,climate change and natural resources and tree felling.
According to the Acting Director, the agency had been engaging in several important programmes of environmental management, but under the quite.
He mentioned that many citizens were ignorant of the consequences of their negative actions toward the environment and it was time the media collaborate effectively with the agency to intensify public education in environmental management.
President of the GJA, Mr Affail Monney, on his part indicated that journalists have greater responsibility to keep watch on the environment to save the nation.
He advised journalists to consider specialising in many disciplines such as environmental issues.
“We need to sharpen our focus on specialisation by throwing away the jack of all trade syndrome,” he emphasised.
He gave the assurance of media collaboration with the agency to work toward environmental management to better the nation.
Prof. Isaac Abeku Blankson,Vice President of the Ghana Technology University College and a media consultant asked whether the media was responsible when it came to environmental issues.
He said there would be damning consequences if the media would not be responsible toward environmental management.
Prof. Blankson noted that Ghana had failed as a state by not enforcing its laws, saying “it is laws that regulate, and until we are law abiding, we will continue to be wallowing in a quagmire.”
FROM KINGSLEY E.HOPE AND BENEDICTA GYIMAAH FOLLEY, AMASAMAN